13 Apr 2011

Drawing traffic to your website

The story of Jack Henderson, a six year old boy who has raised an astounding £10,000 in 2 weeks for the Sick Kids Hospital, is a perfect example of how social media can be used to elevate your position, drive traffic to your website and communicate with a global audience.

Social media is all about engaging and connecting with your target audience. Taking the time to find out who your followers are and what they do for a living can be hugely beneficial in finding key influencers and champions for your cause.
Jacks Daddy, Ed Henderson, contacted me via Twitter last month with a link to a website he’d created called “Jack draws anything”. Jack wanted to raise money for the hospital which had looked after his baby brother and he came up with the idea of drawing pictures in exchange for cash. The initial target was £100 but with the support of Twitter and Facebook things grew rapidly. The website link was shared by Ed’s followers and was direct messaged to journalists for newspapers and television to ensure they were aware of the story. Ed simply posted the link and let the network do the rest.

Social media makes media personalities accessible to Joe Public, a search on Twitter for journalists or newspaper titles will produce a comprehensive list from Channel 4 newsreaders to representatives for your local paper.

As you’ll see from the statistics below the social networks didn't deliver the most traffic to the website however by connecting with the right people - key journalists, and individuals with large followings - the story was presented to a wider audience via features on BBC News24, Channel 4, The Hour and the majority of daily newspapers.

Statistics for the first 10 days starting 21st march 2011

Visits = 30,552 Unique Visitors = 27,781 Page Views = 45,895

48.28% Direct Traffic
39.40% Referring Sites
12.32% Search Engines

REFERRING SITES in descending order:
facebook.com, twitter.com, metafilter.com, linkedin.com, justgiving.com, news.stv.tv, edinburghsickkids.org, reddit.com, edinburghnews.scotsman.com

I’d imagine another factor reflected in the statistics is the benefit of having a website address that is easy to remember.

Of course the most important ingredient is having a good story. Jack Henderson is a special little boy with a heart of gold. Armed with a pen, a good idea and a creative streak he’s achieved something remarkable and taught us a thing or two about entrepreneurship at the same time.
Jack is having a rest from drawing now, he has school to go to after all, but if you’d like to donate to the Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh you can do so here.

Update June 2011:
Jack signs book deal http://jackdrawsanything.com/press-release-jack-draws-anything-secures-int


  1. One thing to bear in mind (as I'm sure you have) is that link shorteners (such as bit.ly) that are used on Twitter usually get reported as Direct traffic. This can skew the traffic results quite dramatically.

    Best way to avoid this is to ensure that your traffic is being correctly reported is to ensure that your links are correctly tagged. You can do this easily using Google's URL Builder: http://www.google.com/support/googleanalytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55578